Book publishers half getting it


They may not be all the way there yet, but at least HarperCollins and Random House — both ultimately owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. — are trying to bring books into the Web era with their new “browsing” widgets. As Pete Cashmore over at Mashable describes, the HarperCollins one pretty much just opens a new window where you can browse through the text, but the Random House one is a bit more elaborate.

books.jpgThe latter is a full-fledged Flash widget, suitable for plunking into the sidebar of your blog or embedding on MySpace pages or wherever, and it allows you to search right inside the widget box, and then view the pages in a larger pop-up version of the widget (although it took awhile to load for me). You can see small thumbnails of the pages, or larger versions, and you can search within the text. But — as with most other book searches, including Amazon’s and Google’s — you only get a few pages at a time.

I have to say, though, that as cool as the Random House widget is, I wonder why the publisher decided to go to all that trouble instead of just doing a deal with Google as part of its massive book indexing project. I know there are copyright issues, but it still seems counter-intuitive to keep your own books segregated in a little pile that belongs just to one publisher rather than part of a giant archive that is easily searchable.

Like Mike Masnick at Techdirt, I don’t really see the wisdom of snubbing Google in favour of what amounts to an “expensive, fragmented and limited” book search.

Comments (3)

  1. Jennifer King wrote::

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    Monday, January 26, 2009 at 2:25 pm #
  2. wisdom teeth wrote::

    Wisdom teeth is a nonsense.
    What to me pleasure of what at me in 25-30 years has grown a teeth without which I already easily manage for a long time?
    Where they were, when I in a youth teeth opened bottles with beer because it was abruptly? When I clicked a teeth nuts?
    And then, why from name “Wisdom teeth” – I that, somehow in another way to chew has learnt? Not how earlier when I was the young fool? Whether business if to years to 30 grew, for example, wisdom fingers! Better, of course, on each hand on the additional index. But on the second big – too it is normal. And then it would be wisdom fingers – because now I precisely know, for what I should seize both hands, to hold strong-strong and never to release. Or from what to wave away – yes, now I know, from what I should wave away very much, sometimes so there is no pair of superfluous fingers on hands that from it to wave away.
    Or here, a wisdom eye. It is necessary certainly, to change the passport by 30 years because you on a forehead had one more eye… Well also I represent, as it will be scratched. When it begins to be cut through – hard, yes. But – what pleasure to look in three eyes at that, on what you could not see enough in both in any way… And points cool can be carried – represent, what turn the fashion industry can make!
    I ask me to excuse, it is simple a teeth strongly are ill

    Friday, February 6, 2009 at 6:05 am #
  3. Free eBooks wrote::

    it seems very great news

    Friday, September 25, 2009 at 12:36 pm #